Geon Performance Solutions is working to help plastics firms make it through the COVID-19 crisis.
Avon Lake, Ohio-based Geon recently launched Project Collaboration, a program that will provide some services free of charge to small and medium-sized companies. Services offered by the program include rapid custom formulations, mold design support for health care and medical devices, accelerated pilot scale compounding and supply chain expertise.
As the COVID-19 crisis accelerated, Geon officials "talked about our pledge and promise to our associates — safety was top of mind — but also about what we could do to help people," CEO Tracy Garrison said in an April 28 interview with Plastics News.
"We were deemed an essential business, and we have contacts with a lot of people in the supply chain, from large material companies to OEMs," he added.
Geon, a major PVC compounder, now can help with formulations within 48 hours. Mold design support also can help reduce the number of parts needed in medical devices, allowing those products to be made more quickly.
"We have more than 1,500 customers and more than 1,000 suppliers," Chief Commercial Officer Larry Shaw said April 28. "A lot of people don't have the access that we do."
To date, Geon has been contacted by more than 50 companies interested in Project Collaboration. Most of those calls were from companies and government officials that were trying to source products, Geon officials said.
Since the start of the program, Geon has filled several requests. Those include sending material by air freight to a manufacturer that needed an approved PVC compound for respiratory hood connectors and working with a state senator's office to source coated fabric for making isolation gowns.
Geon also has made supply chain connections for firms looking for polypropylene fabric for face masks, sanitizer technology and clear PVC sheet for face shields.
All 11 of Geon's global production plants remain in operation.
"We've been very blessed with the health of our population," Garrison said. "We said we'd communicate openly and we've done that."
Garrison described the COVID-19 crisis as "a generational moment."
"We want to say we tried to help," he said, "and with Project Collaboration, we've been able to connect different industries."
Geon was founded late last year when investment firm SK Capital Partners acquired the Performance Products and Solutions business of PolyOne Corp. Geon has annual sales of around $800 million and includes one of North America's largest PVC compounding businesses. The firm also makes PP-based compounds and provides contract manufacturing.